You know, since we have an art gallery now, it’s only fitting that we continue our hobby of art collecting. 😉

But, really, when it comes to real art, we never have cared too much about it.  We’re engineers.  We don’t really have the eye to appreciate it like others do.  We went on a few cruises after we graduated college and would go to the art auctions on the ship just for the free glass of champagne. 😀

As life moved on, and redoing our homes became more important to us, I always considered buying something for one of our rooms to give it a personal, unique touch, that’s not a family photo.  I just never could justify the price for a decorative object. So, while I wasn’t really looking, I found it, and under charitable circumstances… our first piece of art.

Well, I guess I really can’t say it’s the FIRST.  When I left my job in South Carolina, my awesome team there gifted David and I with this lovely piece of Charleston art by local artist Jim Booth.

It’s currently hanging in our dining room (which I haven’t shown much of because I’m not crazy about the “just moved in” look that still exists in there) and it’s a lovely reminder of those warm years in the south.

So I can’t really count it as our first piece of art, when we had not purchased it.  So lo and behold, here is our first piece of art:

You may have caught a peak at it in our family room flooring and reveal posts, as it’s been living on our mantel for a few months.

It may not be in your face amazing, but it has a special connection to me.  So here’s the story.  My company had been consolidating their footprint and moving people to central locations after a few divestitures.  They had a lot of old buildings that contained a ton of art, and instead of trying to sell it themselves or figure out what to do with it, they donated it to The United Way.  The United Way then setup an auction for the art and the proceeds went to funding and charities.  BUT, my employees from my company got to go check out the art before the auction started and buy it at starting value!  Which was pretty cool to me.

I went there just out of curiosity to see what kind of art they had.  It was a pretty big setup, and OH MAN that place was a mad house.  I was going to be surprised if there had been anything left before the auction, people were snatching things left and right.  I wish I had taken a picture, but I didn’t even think about it.

I was perusing around, and stumbled across this print.

And I immediately recognized it.  I would see it usually weekly on one of my lunch break walks along the Brandywine River.  I actually had this picture of it on my phone, one particularly foggy day:

I never knew that it was called Walker’s Mill though.  My first thought was, “how fitting!” I did a little research on it while I was standing there and discovered it was an old mill built in the early 1800s that manufactured everything from cotton to textiles and also housed its workers.  Many think it’s the most photographed building in Delaware.  National Geographic even featured it.

What I really thought was unique was the fact that it had its original certificate still attached to the back that was notarized and also signed by the artist as being an authentic copy of limited edition prints in 1978.

While Charles Columbo is no world famous painter, its nice to have a local touch to our Delaware home.  After a little research on him, I found that he actually passed away in 2015, and was still selling his art at the time for pretty decent amounts.  If you want to read some more info on him, you can read this article by the News Journal.

I loved the personal touch of a little bit of local Delaware history, some familiar sights on my lunchtime walks by Walker’s Mill, and more importantly, the style and colors of it.

I really thought the soft blues and natural colors would put such a nice touch on our family room decor that I’m planning.  You can read more about that HERE.

So here’s to our first piece of art.  It’s local, it’s subtle, and charitable.  The perfect fit for our family room.  Now, I only need to look into getting a new frame for it, because it’s SCREAMING that 1978 validation haha!  I’m thinking something thick and walnutty!

What are your thoughts on art and incorporating it into your home?  Any favorite artists or pieces?